As the Arctic warms, the unfreezing of permafrost poses a threat to the planet.
CO2 Archives - State of the Planet
The skin of the Earth is the color of tar,
Ridged, freshly healed like the seams of a scar.
Through salt-spattered sky, a gray-winged gull sails;
Steam gently rises, the island exhales.
About 50 percent of the CO2 produced by human activity remains in the atmosphere, warming the planet. But scientists don’t know where and how oceans and plants have absorbed the rest of the manmade CO2. To try to answer these questions, on July 2, 2014, NASA launched the $468 million Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2), its first Earth remote sensing satellite dedicated to studying atmospheric carbon dioxide from space.
“Right now, we’re living in a world of a Pliocene atmosphere,” scientist Maureen Raymo of the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory tells the Yale Forum on Climate Change and the Media. “But the whole rest of the climate system — the oceans are trying to catch-up, the ice sheets are waning, and everything is trying to catch up to this Pliocene atmosphere.”
The Obama administration will propose new rules to limit carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants. But is “clean coal” technology up to the job?
In 1943, Norman Borlaug began his research into new varieties of wheat that could feed the burgeoning population of Mexico. Invited by the Mexican government and funded largely by international philanthropic organizations, Borlaug’s research began what we now refer to as the Green Revolution. Over the next 13 years, Mexico became agriculturally self-sufficient, and in… read more